Oregon vs. California

31 Aug

Credit: adapted from artwork by Vacuum3D

I’ve lived in Oregon for three years now, and only recently have I felt like I’ve adjusted to living here. It’s not that this is a bad place; rather, moving from California seemed like coming from a different planet. The two places couldn’t be more opposite, and sometimes it shocks me that they actually border each other.

Quite often in the first year after we moved I threatened go back home. The people drove too slowly, I couldn’t find one decent Mexican restaurant, I was convinced the radio stations only had three songs they all played on a loop. My significant other would remind me that homesickness clouds our judgment about the place we were so desperate to get out of in the first place.

He was right. I had forgotten about all of the things which really bothered me about my home state because I was so focused on griping about the new place. So I did some side-by-side comparisons, and realized both have their quirks.


California: People care too much.

Oregon: People don’t care enough.


California: Best Mexican food.

Oregon: Best food carts.


California: People drive as though they don’t care about their lives.

Oregon: People drive as though they don’t care about time.


California: Too much Rap mixed with Top 40.

Oregon: Too much Top 40 mixed with Indie.


California: Notoriously fast-paced.

Oregon: Notoriously laid-back.

Big Box Stores

California: Love ‘em.

Oregon: Hate ‘em.


California: Too much sun.

Oregon: Too much rain.


California: The only place people drink coffee.

Oregon: The one place people avoid drinking coffee.

Cost of Living

California: You need to sell your plasma on the weekends to make ends meet.

Oregon: You only need to work part-time to afford your own place.

Road Rage

California: A person will tailgate you, follow you into a parking lot and threaten you with a gun.

Oregon: A person will send a scathing glance your way.


California: Bacon is the devil.

Oregon: Bacon is God.


California: Buildings, building and more buildings.

Oregon: Trees, trees and more trees.


California: Every single ethnicity is represented.

Oregon: Diversity? What’s that?


California: Residents think they know good beer.

Oregon: Residents actually know good beer.


California: Tons of people, tons of traffic.

Oregon: A few people driving ridiculously slowly, tons of traffic.

Public Transportation

California: Available, but not worth taking.

Oregon: Available, and worth taking.

Work Ethic

California: Work is life.

Oregon: Work is what you do to pay the bills


California: Lots of good jobs….if you work in technology.

Oregon: Lots of good jobs….if you work in healthcare.


California: A status symbol.

Oregon: A thing that takes you from one place to another.


California: Ridiculous sales tax.

Oregon: Ridiculous income tax.


California: You’re allowed to pump your own gas.

Oregon: The pump is an elusive piece of equipment never to be touched by a lay person.


California: Has two: sunny and less sunny.

Oregon: Has all four.


California: Overzealous Giants and Lakers fans.

Oregon: Overzealous Ducks and Beavers fans.

Thoughts on Other States

California: “There are other states besides California? They don’t count as much as we do.”

Oregon: “We love everyone in the United States except Californians. They’re evil.”

This list confirms why I wanted to move, and why I may be an Oregonian at heart. Sure, it has its pitfalls, but I think it always has a saving grace. You have to appreciate the dampness because you know it brings lots of green and fresh air. You have to appreciate the time you have to pay bills or read a magazine while waiting in line to get your gas pumped. You have to appreciate that the same people driving slowly are also driving safely.

Oregon is not for everyone, but the same could be for California. It all comes down to what’s important to an individual. I thought after I moved here I made the biggest mistake of my life, but after reading the list above, I can honestly say I’m perfectly content with where I’m at.

64 Responses to “Oregon vs. California”

  1. alondra 07/16/2015 at 11:29 am #

    How about the educational system (elementary) ?

  2. Ted the Economist 03/28/2015 at 8:54 am #

    I’m an Oregon native and I’ve got a few things I’d like to point out. Hopefully, some of this is helpful 🙂

    Coffee: Oregon is NOT one place that tries to avoid drinking coffee. Judging by what you wrote, you moved to the Portland metro area. You should really try looking at a Dutch Bros. Coffee. It’s the Oregon equivalent to Starbucks. If you go to Eugene, you’ll see all the natives drinking it. Portland has seven locations.

    Mexican Food: You’re probably right that California has better Mexican food. However, if you want good Mexican food, you just gotta look where the Mexicans are. Try Woodburn off exit 271 on I-5. Take Hwy 214 (Hillsboro-Silverton Hwy) east and take a right on Front St. It will look like you crossed over to Mexico. There are zillions of Mexican restaurants out there. Look it up on Yelp or Urbanspoon to find a good one. Again, judging by the food carts, you’re around Portland. It’s a little more of a Portland thing.

    Cost of Living: A lot of places in Oregon are definitely not places where you can afford your own place on a part-time job. Maybe it’s more possible as a college student. I guess it really depends on where you live, to be honest. The more rural areas like Woodburn and Hubbard have housing costs that are significantly less than Salem or Portland. That’s probably why they’re bedroom communities.

    Public Transportation: In Portland, you’re absolutely right about it being worth taking. However, other places like Eugene/Springfield aren’t so fortunate. We have public transportation around, but I wouldn’t say that it’s worth taking unless you’re going to the UO. The bus system in Eugene is really weird. Everything goes downtown. If you want to go to the mall, a place the Santa Clara bus should have a line to, you have to go downtown, wait for a while (unless you’re lucky), and then take another bus to the mall. It’s the same way when you go back to Santa Clara. If you ask Google for the quickest route by bus from my parents’ house to Valley River Center, it’ll say to take a bus for $1.75 just down the main road and then walk. Doing this takes an hour and Google says that’s the quickest way. But if you’re a student the UO (like me), you’re can take the bus for free.

    Other than those things, I’d say you nailed it spot on! If you like the outdoors, you’re going to love things to do in Oregon. I’m sure you’ve figured that one out by now. In case you haven’t heard yet, some nice places to go (other than the coast or Multnomah falls) include Silver Falls, Oktoberfest in Mount Angel, Mount Hood National Forest (If you like camping, I recommend Kingfisher Campground 30 minutes away from Estacada), and the Wildlife Safari in Winston (Near Roseburg). If you like older towns and more rural areas, I recommend Oregon City, Woodburn, Aurora, Canby, McMinnville, and Silverton/Mount Angel. In addition to Oktoberfest, Mount Angel has a beautiful abbey to walk through (if you like big old churches). If you’re adventurous enough to be around topless and nude people that are high on whatever they found lying around, the Oregon country fair in Veneta could be interesting (I’d never go because I’m Mormon and think it’s a little crazy for me). I hope this helps you have some more fun in the state! Just get a hold of me if there’s something else you’d rather do in Oregon and I’ll make a couple suggestions based on your interests 🙂

  3. T 06/10/2014 at 12:06 am #

    Great article.

    Back in 1997, I moved to Oregon from Chino Hills, California (Inland Empire region.) I had a friend and 700 bucks to my name.

    I grew up in so. Cal but never felt part of or embraced the vibe…actually, I never cared for it. I was and remain very anti-L.A./ so. Cal’.

    I didn’t care for the fees, taxes, smog, crime, traffic, attitudes and rental/housing prices. I up and moved into my friends apartment, slept on the floor and found a full-time temp’ to hire job within a week or so. To easy!

    It honestly felt like home, like I was coming home to a comfortable place…I never experienced that in so. Cal. Everything just felt right, even the D.M.V process was easy and uncrowded. I waited 10 minutes to get a license and I got to drive up, to a window and get my temp’ car tags!

    I then left in 2003 due to family issues and have been stuck down here since. I’m planning my move back up within a year. I can’t wait. I have tried to give so. Cal numerous chances to mesh with me but it is not going to happen because it’s not for me. It’s like being a stranger in a strange land.

    After living in Gresham and east Portland for 5 years, I can honestly say a few things. Rain doesn’t stop people from getting out. The weather here is better than Seattle. In Seattle it mists/light rain all the time with grey sky. I’m fine with that. In Portland, it rains and you get a lot of sun breaks, partly cloudy/sunny. The summers in Portland are a bit warmer than in Seattle but not by much. Northwest has the best summer weather, hands down of any place in the country.

    It rarely snows in Portland, the next day it’s melting. You get small ice storms/black ice, out on the outer north-east side (Gresham/Troutdale) but it’s not too bad. My power never went out and I slid a little on Sandy blvd. Not much though. Roads are pretty good, just watch the bridges in the early am or over night.

    People love to eat, go to Edgefield or the Kennedy school house and have a good time. It’s laid back but it has a thriving, art, pub/bar/tavern and music scene. Portland won’t scare you into not coming because it is user friendly, unlike L.A. You don’t need to dress up…just be yourself! Socks n’ sandals baby! I make them in fashion, lol.

    A family member is wanting me to move to Bellevue/Seattle but as gorgeous as the sound and Lake Washington are, something about Seattle/Bellevue feels weird to me. Don’t get me wrong, I could live there too but my first choice is Oregon. Oregon has a beautiful coast too…just gorgeous! Columbia gorge..ahhh!

    I can’t wait to get back to my city on the rivers!

  4. Mathew 06/05/2014 at 6:03 pm #

    Thank you so much for this article. I recently moved to California from Massachusetts and am considering moving up to Oregon because I work in the mental health field and it’s near impossible to find a job that actually pays for you to work there before you actually become a licensed therapist. I love that Oregon is so much cheaper. Thank you so much for this list. I will show this to my fiance.

  5. annadotbliss 04/15/2014 at 11:33 pm #

    I really enjoyed this article. I moved from California to Hawaii, to Eastern, Wa to Vancouver, Wa, which is right over the river from Portland. We went to Portland a lot and explored a lot of Oregon. I absolutely fell in love with Oregon! Strangely, Oregon helped fill the void I felt after leaving Hawaii. I never felt that the weather got too cold to go outside (like it did in Eastern Wa) and Oregon truly felt like a paradise! Many people in Oregon had a similar laid-back vibe to those in Hawaii. Weekends in Oregon were spent driving to the coast, hiking the Gorge, exploring waterfalls, surfing, swimming in lakes ponds, and exploring Portland. This was very similar to the active lifestyle I led in Hawaii. We had to move back to Eastern, Wa, and I am truly missing the green and wet lifestyle of the Portland area. What I like, is that the rain doesn’t stop anyone! Just wear a raincoat! In other places I’ve lived the weather dictates the day. In Oregon people don’t complain about the rain, they just go in it! I also made some of my best lifelong friends in Oregon. People are open minded and friendly. I thought the rain would bug me (being from California) but I feel like there were times almost every day where the sun would peep through, and that was all I needed. The rain makes everything feel fresh and it makes everything beautiful! I am now facing a dilemma. I want to be closer to family (California), but I do not want the lifestyle. It is so hard because I want my kids to be near their grandparents, but I feel the quality of life is so much better in Oregon. Your article is helping to convince me to make Oregon our life long home.

  6. Liz 04/09/2014 at 2:48 pm #

    I am finding myself in the opposite position. Having grown up in Portland (with 10 years in Seattle also), it’s looking like my husband may have a great job opportunity in socal/Newport Beach. I love living here (we are in Hillsboro currently), although I do experience SADD during the winters. With so much negative publicity about southern California, (traffic, crime, pollution, high cost of living) I’m wondering where I can look to get a more balanced perspective. Lots of people live there so there must be some redeeming qualities? I am your average low key, not much into fashion, love green spaces Oregonian. Just from preliminary looking, to get 1/2 acre of land in socal will be over a million dollars, whereas here I can get multiple acres for $400-600K. That’s what a small family home would cost down there! What would you say to someone in my position having lived in both places? I googled moving to California from Oregon and all that came up were pages and pages about moving to Oregon from California.

    • T 06/09/2014 at 11:29 pm #

      Hi Liz,

      May I suggest vitamin D and pastel/bright walls. Some say sun lamps as well.

      As far as Newport Beach…nice but expensive, bad traffic and everybody likes to gather there, too crowded. Stay in south O.C. but Anaheim Hills and Brea are nice. $$$ Irvine, Lake Forrest, Coto De Caza ($$$)! Chino Hills is great, I grew up there but it might be too far from your work.

      I’m in Corona, Ca. and can’t wait to leave and come back to Oregon! I miss it.

      Good luck Liz.

    • Bonnie Phillips 07/23/2015 at 7:45 am #

      I live in Redlands, CA I like it. It is in the inland empire which has a deservedly bad rep. Redlands is the outliner. It is a historic univeresity town with lots of giant trees. It is kind of far from Newport beach about an hour and a half. It has a cute down town and there are farmers markets and trader Joe’s. My rent is 950 for a 1 bedroom. It gets hot but not as bad as were I grew up which is yucca valley CA in the high desert. I still want to leave California 🙂

  7. dutchluxury@gmail.com 03/01/2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Well, I grew up in far northern California, have family all over SoCal, spent LOTS of time in LA area, Bakersfield, Sacramento and S.F…. and I can only echo the clear message the author is saying–that Oregon is really different in the whole lifestyle way. “How? “you ask. I can only think it is generations of happy people who have been saying to themselves “Hey! why do I have to live that (pick a topic) way? And off they go to make life a little more beautiful on some item. It’s so subtle that you won’t notice it just flying into Portland and doing the touristy city tour. You won’t see it doing a weekend ski excursion to Bend. In fact, you are probably screwed if you want to try to experience it on your own. Best Bet: find a real local who can take you into the wonderful fabric of daily experience that is the Oregon expression of the Pacific Northwest. How to find a real local? Look at the list above…some great starting points. Think beards, real micro-brew (there is a good chance you don’t actually know what I mean), strange-ish clothes, happy faces.

    Oh, and by the way, there is a place in Oregon that has nearly all the great weather of SoCal, plus Seasons, plus greenery, plus a mix of California vibe (honestly: it is poorly done, but if you need it you need it), plus low (compared to Cali) house prices. But I’d rather have you break your bad California habits/paradigm in Portland first. You’ll be ready when, like me, you finally stop driving into the left lane just to get a few cars ahead.


    damn…guess I should start a blog.

    • Paul 03/02/2014 at 4:12 am #

      Dutch: where in Oregon might the weather be like South CA? I’d really like to visit a city in Oregon like that for a change.

  8. daniheart21 02/26/2014 at 5:12 pm #

    Sounds like some place we would like to live. I always envy your photos… and you had me at trees trees and more trees. I tried posting a tree photo for one of my happy day photos on facebook and I got a bunch of people saying where the heck is the flower?! 🙂 I’ll always be a tree hugger. I like flowers too. 😉

  9. Kristina 02/05/2014 at 9:14 pm #

    I just love the list and soon I’ll br able to relate. Grew up in Nor Cal 20 + years along with living in the east coast in my earlier years. My fiance & I will be moving there soon and he and I are both excited. My main concern is how is the healthcare coverage there? I don’t have any health problems but thats one thing I would like both of us to invest in.

    • Jen and Tonic 02/07/2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Health care coverage really does depend on if your employer pays for it, you pay for it, the state pays for it, etc. I will say that Oregon is great in terms of offering you the resources necessary to figure out what it is you can qualify for. Have you taken a look at the Cover Oregon website yet? https://www.coveroregon.com/

  10. secret 01/07/2014 at 4:08 pm #

    I tried not to post my comment but just can’t help it. 🙂

    It is very funny people trying to justify where the best place to live. I have lived in many cities in the States as well as overseas. In my opinion, each city has its own characteristics. It really depends on what is important to you. I have lived in Seattle for years and now living in SCAL.

    If you are young and love outdoor activities, I would say California is better than Oregon. The reason is because you can enjoy any outdoor activities all year round. In Oregon or Seattle, you get about 4-5 months of sun. Imaging living in a gloomy weather half of your life? The population in Oregon or Seattle is much smaller than California so it’s not a best place to start a business or looking for a job compared to California. Of cause, there are many things I hate about California, one is the traffic and second is the air quality.

    To me, I would live in California and earn as much as I can. Once I am ready to retire, I can decide if I want to move to Oregon or Seattle to have a slower pace of life. My personal opinion is to go where you can earn the most money and retire early. It is easier to move from a big city to a small town when you are older.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2014 at 9:17 pm #

      Please post a comment! I welcome all feedback. I definitely agree with you that where you live, and how well it fits, is all a matter of what you want/need out of life.

      I also lived in Seattle! Grew up in NorCal, spent time in Seattle, back in NorCal for awhile, and now in Portland. I have to disagree on outdoor activities being great year round in California. Two reasons: (1) It gets so hot and stuffy that being outdoors feels like being in an oven. (2) The air quality is so bad in most major metropolitan areas that it feels like swallowing poison when you’re outside. I was just home for the holidays, and they had 10 spare the air days in a row. In December. That’s pretty sad. Also, I don’t mind the rain at all. Being damp isn’t a problem if you get the right gear.

      Also, I think being able to save depends on a variety of factors, not just how much money you make. I’ve actually saved more money here even though I make 10% less than I did there simply because the cost of living is lower overall. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply across the board.

      I guess you and I are exactly where we should be right now 🙂

  11. Pam 09/30/2013 at 12:43 pm #

    I love your post, I’m a native NorCal, living in San Jose, I am considering a job in the Portland, Or area and I’m trying to decide if this is the right move to make, I have a husband who is currently between jobs and a 14 year old who just entered high school, so this is a huge decision for our family. Your list is hilarious, the bay area is nuts, it’s all about work is life…I’m ready for a change, I will miss a few things but I’m sure I will get over it, the only thing is the sun…I’m not sure living without sun for so long.

  12. kaycee 09/20/2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I have lived in the southern CA desert for almost 30 years now and I have to get out of here. I was thinking of going to Oregon. I hate the city and the desert. Im from a small town and Ilike the small town vibe! I want to go in my back yard and not die from the heat and I want a garden and I dont want to be surrounded by people that are obssessed with materials! However, I also am not too fond of constant rain or snow. Am I asking too much? Is there a place in OR for my family. Cost of living is a concern. On average what does a 3 bedroom rental go for out there? Also I am in the beauty industry and my husband is in solar construction. Are there jobs? If someone can help me out with answers that would be amazing.

  13. janetcanningva 09/06/2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks for writing this. I am contemplating moving to Or very much. When we have been there, we feel comfortable and nobody care what we look like or do. Here I live around too many red-necks, and I are techie

    • Jen and Tonic 09/07/2013 at 6:59 pm #

      You’re very welcome! Where are you coming from?

      Oregon is great in my opinion, and those who love it REALLY love it. If you need any tips feel free to e-mail me 🙂


  14. DeeDee Lauryn 07/01/2013 at 3:22 pm #

    This comment has nothing to do with California but I’m considering moving to Oregon. Would you say it’s a nice place to start a family ? I’ve lived most of my life all the way in TN so I wouldn’t know anybody but it seems like a pretty good place to meet new people and adapt (:

    • Paul Butler 07/01/2013 at 5:53 pm #

      Don’t leave TN until you have found employment and fully thought this through.

      Also, keep in mind depending on what part of Oregon you are moving to it DOES rain a lot.

      Some people love it, some hate it. Some say they don’t mind it when they are looking to move there but once they are there it becomes way more than what they bargained for.

      Just an FYI. I lived there for almost 10 years. Loved the scenery , people, but rain just got to be to much!

      • Kem Wills 07/06/2015 at 12:28 pm #

        “it DOES rain a lot.” That depends on where you live in Oregon. I was raised on the Oregon coast but I have lived in klamath county for 17 years now and it don’t rain much at all.

    • Jen and Tonic 07/01/2013 at 6:48 pm #

      I would say it’s okay to leave TN if you don’t have a job IF you have money saved up. I had around 6 months worth of savings, and I was able to find a job in less than 3 months. Of course, that all depends on what you do, and whether there is a market out here for that.

      I don’t have any children, but I imagine if I did I’d prefer them growing up here versus growing up in California or Washington, the other two places I have lived in my life.

      Yes, it does rain, but I feel like people exaggerate how bad it is. I’ve lived here five winters, and all of them combined couldn’t compare to one winter in Seattle. Conversely, one summer in California will put you off for good. It’s so hot and smoggy that it just sucks.

      People here are friendly, but I don’t know how it’d compare to TN. People are friendly in the South, aren’t they?

      • Paul Butler 07/01/2013 at 7:14 pm #

        People are friendly in the South. 🙂 I don’t know about TN because I’ve never been.

        In Texas, Oklahoma, they very much are. In my experience in Oregon (at least when I left in 08/11 unless you were a registered nurse or LPN very hard to find work. Its possible that it has improved since I left.

        As far as exagerating about how bad the rain is…..I don’t think so. I can tell you in the 9.5 years I lived there that I kept telling myself it wasn’t that bad but in reality it was. There’s a lot of great things about Oregon that I loved and still miss but the rain isn’t one of them. Not just the rain but the constant gray sky.

        With that said, I do love the fresh air in Oregon…its one of my most favorite things there. Stepping off the plane its the first thing I notice.

        Savings is a great thing if you can save up 6 mos worth. That would definitely give you a nice start.

  15. Bree 06/17/2013 at 11:36 am #

    This is helping me a little to jump onboard with my husbands decision to move me and our 2 kids out of California after being a native San Diegan my whole life. I have my own business here, plus a very desirable part time job, my whole family is here, I dwell on the crowds and tall buildings and hate the rain. Gloomy weather makes me really depressed and slow drivers make me crazy. However, he is from New Mexico originally and LOVES to be around nature- talk about opposites attract. I’m just really afraid that I will go up there and lose all of my networks here in California and just be so miserable that I will come running back to California as soon as I get there. Are there any things that you can share with me that might help me feel at ease? I don’t even know which part of Oregon he wants to go to, I just need people and buildings.

    • Monte 06/17/2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Bree, if you hate the rain and gloom, majority of Oregon is not for you, unless you move east of the Cascades like in Bend or Redmond or The Dalles. That is similar to socal low desert weather, hot summers and cold winters. If you move more west like portland or Corvallis you will see alot of rain and gloom and even snow depending on the city. The rain isn’t the hardest part is not seeing the sun for months at a time. SADD can really kick in for most people not used to the gloom. It is very beautiful in Oregon because of the rain, but you only get about four months of good weather a year to enjoy it, if you live in the western part. Family is another huge issue besides the gloom of moving to Oregon. This is the main reason I decided not to move to Portland after all. In reality I wouldn’t see family but once every few years. I have young nieces and nephews that I don’t want remembering me as the uncle who moved to Oregon, or barely remembering me at all. I don’t want my future kids growing up not knowing their cousins or my parents not seeing my kids frequently. If I didn’t have a close family, this would be a non-issue and I would have moved to Oregon this month. My good friends form socal moved back after only a year in Portland because of this reason. The rain, cold and gloom didn’t hurt their decision with either. It is beautiful, more affordable, slower paced, and all.. but to me that didn’t out weigh seeing family and the San Diego sun almost 365 days a year. To each their own, nobody can make up your mind for you. You just have to be honest with yourself ask why you want to move and have some really good reasons. Worst case scenario is you move, try it out for a year or two and can always move back, but your business may be hurt like you said. Do a lot of research, visit the area you are thinking of moving for at least a week. Talk to friends who have lived there. I did all of this for almost a year before making my decision whether or not to move my wife and I to Portland.

    • Jen and Tonic 06/17/2013 at 8:59 pm #

      I can’t say much that Monte hasn’t already said. Portland would be the only area that would be a compromise between city and nature in the state of Oregon. Even then, I’m not sure Portland will give you the city feel that you’re looking for. There are buildings and crowds, but not like you’d find in San Francisco or Seattle or Chicago. It’s the biggest small city you’ll ever visit.

      The nature here is incredible, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place in Spring and Summer. However, winter seems loooooong, and you really do only get about 4 months of non-gloomy weather. If you don’t like the rain or cold, you’ll hate it here.

      I’d recommend visiting in Summer, and then visiting in Winter. Maybe early July and then mid-January. That will give you an idea of the extremes we see here in terms of really beautiful, and really dreary.

      If you want to know anything else, go ahead and e-mail me: sipsofjenandtonic@gmail.com

  16. Monte 04/08/2013 at 10:11 am #

    What about family? I have a tight family in socal. I think that would be hard only seeing them once or twice a year.That would be a deal breaker… It seems like all my friends move back eventually to Cali for this reason…

    • Jen and Tonic 04/08/2013 at 3:08 pm #

      I think if your family is really close, it may be hard to be anywhere that isn’t where they are. My family lives in NorCal, and it’s a short flight home. There are always good deals between here and there on Southwest.

      I think, more than anything, it’s an adjustment to move anywhere. I think the homesickness for what you know is worse than anything else. I’d say it took me a full two years before I got over that.

  17. Paul Butler 03/09/2013 at 3:35 am #

    Hi there-
    Read this list of Pros and cons about Oregon Vs Cali. I really enjoyed it. I was wondering if you are still living in Oregon or did you eventually go back to Cali?

    I am a native Texan who lived in Oregon for over 9 years. Loved it with the exception of the weather. Have been back in Texas for almost 2 years now…and honestly I’m wondering why I came back. I’m considering going back to Oregon but the thing that scares me more than the weather is employment.

    Any help would be great. Thanks again for the comparisons!


    • Jen and Tonic 03/12/2013 at 9:27 pm #

      I’m still here in Oregon. I’ve visited California several times since I’ve moved here, and I’m convinced more and more each time this was the right move.

      Employment is difficult to find, not going to lie. I think if you have some money saved up (5-6 months’ worth) then you should be fine. It takes most people a few months to find a job. Not sure why that is, but it seems to be the norm.

      Feel free to send me an e-mail if you want to talk about this in a not-so-public setting: SipsofJenandTonic@gmail.com.

      • Paul Butler 04/18/2013 at 1:35 pm #

        So I have given it more thought. I’m definitely leaning towards going back.

        Money permitting maybe end of summer this year. At the latest just after the 1st of the year.

        I wish I could put my finger on what it was that drew me back here to Texas. I have not figured that one out yet and not sure I ever will.

        I know It certainly hasn’t been what I had remembered. One of the things I miss about Oregon is the small town feel.

        If you know anyone in the financial institution business in Oregon I’d love to here from them as that’s the business I am in and would love to make some connections before I move back.

        I can be emailed at pbutler0412@gmail.com.

        Thanks again for the great list!!!

        • Jen and Tonic 05/16/2013 at 12:40 pm #

          Paul- just saw this comment. Did you ever send the e-mail? I never received it. Feel free to resend!

          • pbutler0412@gmail.com 05/16/2013 at 12:57 pm #

            Yes, I did send it. I will have to look and see if it is still in my sent folder.
            Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  18. Monte 03/04/2013 at 8:21 pm #

    This post really helped me decide to take the leap and move to Oregon. I’m born and raised in southern California. It’s all I know. I always said there’s nowhere I’d rather live, especially after living in San Diego for last six years. It’s virtually Maui in some areas! The crazy hot summer and high gas prices last year snapped something in me. I thought for the first time that this isn’t the best place in the world. I started looking into Portland and realized it’s a really desirable place to live in US, despite it’s rain and gloom. So this summer my wife and I are taking the leap and moving to Oregon to see if it fits us. My plan is to give it three years, no matter how bad I want to move back (I know I will). I visited Portland and Corvallis for a week to visit family and friends, I loved it! I love all the greenery, the Willamette, beer, bridges, food, no sales tax, slow-driving, and, most of all, affordable homes! Thanks again!

    • Jen and Tonic 03/04/2013 at 9:53 pm #

      Wow! Congrats on making the move.

      To be honest, it isn’t as rainy and gloomy as everyone says it is. I mean, it’s cold, but it’s not as terrible as people make it out to be. You’ll adjust after the first winter here.

      I think giving yourself three years is a smart idea. I didn’t feel really in love with Portland until I was here about 2 1/2 years. It’s really different from CA (I’m from San Jose) and it takes awhile to get accustomed to all of the lifestyle differences.

      Best of luck!

  19. Aw 09/16/2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Im considering moving to OR. as we speak. Ive lived in the bay area and sacramento area my whole life. My band has toured through Oregon many times, and every time, I didn’t want to leave. I have a few friends in Portland. My main concern is the job market there? I currently work in sign making and design, but I’m no stranger to labor. Thanks for your post here!

    • Jen and Tonic 09/16/2012 at 11:23 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by and reading the post! I will say that this is a very tongue in cheek post, and I don’t harbor any ill will towards either place. We’ve all got to find our bliss 🙂

      The job market is tough, but I think it is everywhere. The good thing about here is that you can find a temp job or service job and still make ends meet. The same is not true for California. You have to land a GOOD job right away to support yourself.

      My advice is to sort of look at the jobs you’d be qualified for over the next couple of months. Are there plenty of them? Do you feel like you have enough experience? You’ll be okay then. It took me a little over 2 months to find a job when I first moved here so just make sure you have some pocket change when you land.

      Feel free to e-mail me at SipsofJenandTonic@gmail.com if you have any other questions 🙂

  20. Alex Askerman 08/19/2012 at 4:01 pm #

    As for seasons, I would say the Portland area of Oregon only has two. Rain, and Construction season.

    • Jen and Tonic 10/27/2012 at 1:29 pm #

      Sorry, never saw this until now. Wanted to tell you that this made me laughs because it’s true. You must have lived here at one point 😉

  21. Krystal 02/11/2012 at 12:32 am #

    Cute post!

    I’ve lived in Southern Ca my entire life and it’s awesome but now that I’m getting out of my mid twenties I’ve been looking into moving to pursue work.The cost of living here in any major city down here is ridiculous and is even worse in the Bay Area (as you know).

    Anyways, I appreciate the post. I’m coming up next month to look around and I am extremely excited about the beer, the fact that there is good public transport, and relaxed vibe.

    • Jen and Tonic 02/11/2012 at 10:22 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by!

      The cost of living is the biggest reasons I left California. I didn’t want to be one of those people pouring every penny I had into a home….for 30 years. EEK. It makes me sick thinking about it.

      Ah! I hope you have a great time while you’re here. We’ve had a pretty mild winter so you probably won’t get rained on too much. Make sure to drink *plenty* of beer!

  22. Yossarian 02/08/2012 at 6:26 pm #

    You seem to have the entire state of California confused with Southern California. Have you ever been to Yosemite, Humboldt County, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Napa, Sonoma, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, even San Francisco defies many of your descriptions.

    Considering that Oregon’s population is 3,825,657 and California’s is 36,961,664, California is much more diverse. California is also the 3rd largest state, while Oregon is 9th. California can’t really be summed up so easily.

    Both states are awesome and have their pros and cons, but I feel that you have misrepresented California in this post. I’m happy you like Oregon, but I disagree with your characterization of California as a whole.

    • Jen and Tonic 02/08/2012 at 11:39 pm #

      Thanks so much for your comment!

      My article is based on my experience growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. I didn’t realize many of these “annoyances” until I moved out of state. Everyone makes fun of the arrogance of Californians– they’re constant pride about the greatness of the state. I always denied that was the case, but it really is true.

      I think your points are totally valid, and it IS hard to sum up any state in such a short post. It’s all about personal preferences and length of time spent there and other mitigating factors. I spent 20+ years in California, and only a handful here in Oregon. I was bound to give a harder beating to California simply because we have a much closer relationship 🙂

      Thanks again for your comment! Much appreciated.

      • kathy 02/28/2014 at 12:14 pm #

        so i have a huge thing to consider. my best friend and husband and i and their 2 dogs and 1 cat all live in the bay area, been here all my whole life except when i was born, this is all i know and all i have ever know. a opportunity has kinda risen above to me, my brother and sister in law live in portland, love it and now they have their own house. right now as far as i know i will have to move in may. i have family pretty much in all states and i have visited oregon only once but LOVED it. the reason i basically stayed in california for so long was i was living with my ex, and a bunch of other stuff going on. been really considering my options and just trying to figure things out for myself. the main reason i didnt leave after my ex and i broke up was i wasnt ready to leave just yet. now he and his new wife are gonna be raising their little family here and honestly just the thought of them doing that in the place i grew up and love, makes me want to pack my bags and never look back even if i hate where i am going next. i really need to consider or make a list like you did before i uproot myself like that. i would love to be closer to my brother and sister in law. but im also considering other things in it too, hows the education system? hows health care? all the regular worries and fears, what if i hate it there, what if i dont fit in, but mostly the thing i am positive about is, i could afford my OWN place and i cant simply do that here in california. i would have to work 5 part time jobs just to pay for half of a room, plus if i move there id have part family and i can really start my life. just a lot to consider. any suggestions on how i should narrow things down? thanks a bunch,

    • Heather 09/21/2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Being a Northern Californian born and bred I have to agree with the majority of this list. I have lived only in norcal and traveled to socal numerous times in my 39yrs visiting family and friends and enjoying the many entertaining options available in the area…I have lived in Sonoma County, Marin County, Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Lafayette.

      Your experience may be a singular one, as the majority of those I have spoken with that are natives and that come from other places who also feel the same about this list, we’ve had many conversations in regards to the things mentioned here…prior to seeing this list.

      California is a wonderful place if you have money…otherwise you’re just squeezing by to be lucky enough to live in such a fun place. I love California, but it really has become a difficult place to live.

      • Jen and Tonic 09/21/2013 at 3:17 pm #

        I’m always surprised when people don’t agree with the list (perhaps they don’t see the humor in it?) because, like you, my friends agree with this list as well. Even the ones who still live there will laugh and agree that this is the California way.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love California. Amazing scenery, diverse culture, and it’s on the cutting edge of everything. However, like you noted, the cost really diminishes the quality of living. It is the biggest catalyst in me moving, and I haven’t regretted it. Besides, it’s a quick plane ride back.


  1. Polishing the Southern Oregon brand | beaver communications - 06/25/2014

    […] without a financial stake in improving California/Oregon relations just have fun with contrasts and comparisons, perpetuating the perception of unfriendliness to […]

  2. California living vs oregon living – California living | Move to California » Blog Archive - 05/25/2012

    […] vs. Oregon in Quality of Living? (Orange, Ashland: real …Oregon vs. California « Sips of Jen and TonicOregon Vs. California, A Comparative StudyChasing Clean Air: Ask Donna: Oregon vs. Southern […]

  3. Dear John « Sips of Jen and Tonic - 11/05/2011

    […] Oregonians and Californians […]

Sound off on this Sip

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: